Re: H SPACE: "Scientists predict Moon base by 2007"

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Mon Apr 09 2001 - 02:20:13 MDT

On Sun, 8 Apr 2001, zeb haradon wrote:

> Cons:
> - There is no carbon or nitrogen, and very little hydrogen.

Um, how do you know? You been there? There's sure enough hydrogen at the
poles, if the Prospector data are to be believed. I think there's plenty
of carbon, due to ditto impacts (and probably plenty ammonia and sulfur,
too), and natively (graphite, maybe traces of carbonate).

The bottleneck for people is water, as you need several tons of it/person
in the ecology. Since you only need to bake out the polar cryotrap
regolith (the hydrate is probably tightly bound), that's accounted for.

> - The long lunar night would require lots of batteries, or a nuclear plant.

There are areas which are permanently insolated. Conveniently, located
in walking distance to the polar cryotraps.

> Pros:
> - We know that we have the technology to do it today.

Er, rather make it next Sunday.

> - It's only a couple days trip between Earth in case there is an emergency
> and food or equipment needs to be sent, and there wouldn't be much
> muscle-rot during the trip.

Best of all, you can keep your people on the ground. The relativistic
latency is sufficiently low to allow teleoperation.

> - You wouldn't need as many solar panels since you'd be getting much more
> light, and it wouldn't be filtered through an atmosphere.

You can throw solar power satellites into orbit with a linear mass driver.
With sufficient orbit population there's no more worries about the lunar

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